|by KD Farris, Ph.D.
Body & Soulful Living
When I think of Soulful Living, I think of the body. Meditations for being present always start with the body: the breath, the feel of my hands in what I am doing, my feet fitting onto the ground.
What I do for a living is bring myself into the present moment. In my counseling work, in my teaching, I am always returning to the breath. It is in this return to the breath that I learn to speak from my experience and call others back to the moment.
Soulful Living is made of present moments. The mind, on the other hand, doesn’t rely upon the present, or even, reality. It operates without boundaries and can trash everything you think is real. That’s not to say that the body is not affected by our thoughts. Some thoughts can stir the body by raising blood pressure and shortening the breath. And though the reaction we have to these thoughts is present and real, the thought itself is fictional, and based on the past. Even what we think about for the future is created through thoughts that are rooted in the past, and not the present moment.
Spontaneous knowledge comes from the body. It bubbles up from the emptiness of a moment where we are perfectly present. Our breath, a holy song; our listening, a moment of emptiness. Without comment, we experience; without judgment, we move through time; and without warning, in the magic of a present moment, we can have spontaneous knowing which calms the body, soothes the soul, aligns our thinking, and anchors us in the present.
How can we find soulful living if we are not inhabiting our body? For our souls reside in the present moment - and the present moment is known through our body.
"Snap to!" the man shouts, slapping his friend in the face. He doesn’t reason the man back to the moment; he calls him there through his body. We have to face the reality of life as it is proposed to us - through our minds and through our bodies. How we prepare our minds, through meditation, through the return of the breath, through the emptiness that we can help to create - determines how it will feed our body, how it can live in harmony with the body. How we create the conditions necessary to produce spontaneous knowing, the conditions of the mind and the conditions of the body - that is the process, the dance of soulful living.
My work has always been about the present moment and the soulful living that springs effortlessly from that experience of time. At home, it is the attention we give to what we touch, what we pass by, who we speak to, how we speak to them, how we rest, what we feel, that we feel, what we allow, how we do what we do, all day long. Home is where we cultivate the skill to be quiet, to listen, to nurture, to respond, to be still, to be steady, to be present, to be with the breath, to be in our hands, to feel where we walk, to nestle when we sit, and fold onto ourselves when we curl up.
What does it looks like? Easy and gentle.
What form does it take? Fluid and steady.
What questions does it ask and answer? Those questions posed like a riddle; those answers that leave us asking more questions.
We are in a flow in our lives. In a stream carrying us forward. We are not in certainty or platitudes. We are being spontaneously created in the image of whatever we see as God. It could be the emptiness and nothingness of the world, or the magnificence and wonderment. Either is found in the moment.
Strive to reconnect to your body so that you can find the present moment. Your breath, your feelings, your impulses. Follow them. Where? To your first breath, to your soulful life, to the end. And there, at the end, you will find everything that you found all the journey long - the present soulful moments of a full life.
© Copyright 2002 KD Farris, Ph.D.. All Rights Reserved.
Read KD's Past Columns:
November 2002 - "Getting Into MESHE with Your Home Through Minor Adjustments"
October 2002 - "Being in MESHE with Clearing Clutter"
September 2002 - "Discover Going on Retreat"
July 2002 - "Build Your MESHE - Seek the Space: A Process for Reclaiming the Shadow"
June 2002 - Revisiting: "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
May 2002 - "Bodywork 101"
March 2002 - "Being Present Within Your Prosperous Life"
February 2002 - "HESHE and The Third Bird"
December 2001 - "Manifesting Your Perfect Partner with Personal Truthz"
November 2001 - "Remembering What We Already Know"
September 2001 - "Be Led By What You Are Trying to Avoid"
August 2001 - "Draw Your Way to Clarity, Health & Balance"
June 2001 - "Tending to the Negative Mind"
May 2001 - "Gentle Conscious Living"
April 2001 - "MISON and The Moment"
March 2001 - "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
KD Farris, Ph.D. is a successful counselor, healer, and bodyworker. For more than twenty years she has taught
extensive workshops based on MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT as well as many other self-discovery topics.
KD began developing her integrated bodywork and counseling techniques in 1983 under the tutelage of many prominent doctors and healers throughout the United States.
Her education into the spiritual and physical aspects of the human experience served as the foundation for her private practice and the development of a new philosophy. She combined her techniques into four guiding principles, which she shares in her book, MESHE, HESHE,
MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. She teaches a companion workshop series, where she creates an interactive environment demonstrating the material from her book with tangible, life altering effects. In these workshops, individuals discover a
deepening of their relationship to self, others, and life itself.
Through individual counseling and group workshops, she has taught her results-oriented programs to many different types of people including those confined to mental institutions, substance and food abusers, and generally, people in life transitions, struggling with intimate
relationships, or who lack direction in their lives. Visit www.kdfarris.com.
KD is currently touring a new body of work, Talking About People in Transition, Also Known As
Liminal Space. She will be writing about liminality and its relevance to day-to-day living in upcoming issues of Soulful Living. For more information on this new and exciting topic, or to learn about more her private practice, workshops and lectures, visit
Contact KD at: info@MESHE.com